Back to School

Yay! It’s my favorite time of year. Nothing better than new notebooks, a fresh pack of markers, some new shiny tabs! I miss back-to-school shopping. There was always something so promising heading off to your first day of school, your backpack full of new binders, neatly organized.

Get back into the groove with some Spanish or Study Skills lessons to stay on top of your classes this year!

Happy Back-to-School time!

Spanish Lessons for Kids (2) “What’s on your plate?”

Concepts learned:

Food vocabulary
Food categories
Phrases: “Mi comida favorita es….” My favorite food is….
“Mi fruta favorita es…..” My favorite fruit is…
“Mi verdura favorita es….” My favorite vegetable is….

Colors

 

Supplies Needed:

A few paper plates
Markers, Crayons, or colored pencils

Lesson Specifics:

Give each student his own paper plate.  Ask questions like, “Qué es esto?”, What is this?  “Porqué lo usas?” Why do you use it? “Qué color es?” What color is it? Etc.

Then ask the children, what are your favorite foods?  Give them the Spanish words for each food and use it in a sentence.

Example: “What’s your favorite food?”  Qué es tu comida favorita?”

–Apples!

“Manzanas! Me encantan las manzanas!”  Apples!  I love apples! “Qué color es la manzana?” What color is an apple?

–Red

“Roja! Sí, la manzana es roja!” Dibuja una manzana en el plato.  Draw an apple on your plate.

I love lessons like this because you are teaching so much more than one concept! If you want to add to it, also incorporate shapes!

Spanish Lessons for Kids (1) Balloon Faces

Are you teaching Spanish lessons to younger children and find yourself wondering, “How do I do this??”

When I first started teaching children I felt like that all the time.  I’d never really been around young children and I was at a loss at what to do.  Then I realized, young children want to have fun and learn, get them moving, creating, talking, dancing while you teach.

So for this lesson what you’ll need are:

1. Balloons (any color, and make sure no one is allergic to latex)

2. A magic marker

3. A good set of lungs

Blow up the balloon, tie securely, and help children draw parts of the face on the balloon.  Make sure they are big enough so everyone can see.  If you like you can label the parts of the face.

Ask the children, “Cómo se llama?” and have them give Mr. Balloon Face a name.

Next ask the children, “Dónde están las orejas de “Mr. Balloon Face”?  You can also help by pointing to your respective body part.

Toss the balloon to each child and give them a chance to answer a few of your questions.

This method also works well to teach emotions.

For emotions, blow up several balloons and help the children draw faces for “triste”, “feliz”, “enojado”, etc.

Make a game by tossing a random balloon and asking the child the emotion.

la mano pintada

La mano pintada
“The painted hand”

This phrase is a peculiar one.  I suppose your hand could be painted, but when I think about this phrase I don’t think of a painted hand, but painted nails, ‘uñas pintadas.’  When I was in Córdoba, Argentina (6 years ago now), there was a small shop called, “La mano pintada” that sold women’s clothing, bathing suits and accessories.  It was a cute store, but I remember it for quite an embarrassing reason that for some reason I feel compelled to share with all of you.

When I packed for my 6-month trip, I confess I did a very poor job and didn’t pack a lot of things I really needed, one of those things being a bathing suit.  I guess I didn’t really think I’d need one, which was such a big mistake. I don’t know if it was this store in particular, or the whole of Argentina, but there wasn’t a single one-piece.  Not that I don’t like two-piece bathing suits, but theirs consisted of two triangles for the top and a thong for the bottom.  To make matters worse, the sizes are very very different.  They only had 0, 1, 2, and 3 on the floor and 4s available in the back.  Now, I don’t know what these equate to in the US, but I know here I’m a size 6-8. And the saleswoman proclaimed (after examining my rear) that she hoped I would fit in a 4. Awkward.

Anyway…after getting the least revealing bikini, in a size 4, I wore it twice over there, under clothes and haven’t touched it since.

But..I’d still like to say a bit more about the phrase, “la mano pintada”.  If you didn’t know, ‘la mano’ is one of those words that is an exception to the rule as far as gender agreement (ends in ‘o’ but is feminine). Also, just because I never do it! I’ll show you my pretty pink ‘uñas pintadas’ (painted nails).

Happy Thursday!

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las mascotas (pets)

CheetahI’ve always been a dog person, until Charley and Cheetah.  We got our two kitties and little over a year ago and they have brought so much fun and joy into our lives!  Cheetah (pictured) is really more like a dog.  She’s always waiting at the door when we come home, plays a nightly game of fetch with her mouse, and comes right up to people ready to be pet.  Our other cat is more of a typical cat.  Charley only wants to be pet in certain places and certain times and if anyone comes in the door she bolts directly to the linen closet.

For all you pet lovers out there I thought I would share some new vocabulary!

las mascotas- pets

el gato- cat

el perro- dog

el pez- fish

la serpiente- snake

el conejo- rabbit

el ratón- mouse/rat

fresca como una lechuga

Let’s start off the week all ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’!  It will be great, we’ll get so much done, and you will feel awesome!

Now I have to explain the saying that is my title.  My freshman year of college I took this great seminar class where we explored the political history of Latin America through its authors.  It was such a wonderful class taught by a very interesting man, Juan Allende.  Name sound familiar?  Anyone out there who is a Isabel Allende fan (you may freak out….or not, but I really did) will be excited to know that this man was (is) her brother.

I will tell you right now that this intimate (we only had about 8 people in the class) little seminar was the best class of my college career.  Being a freshman, I only knew two things:  1. I wanted to study Spanish and 2.  I wanted to learn about Latin America.  Sorry U.S., but we’re seriously lacking in the history education department.  In my experience, the only history you learn (secondary education) is U.S. History and Western European History.  What about Asia? Nope. Latin America? Nope. Africa? Nope.  The Middle East? Nope.

So, you can see that this seminar class was an exciting eye opener!  Near the end of the semester the professor (who we grew to really love and tried to convince him to show up one day to class in his pajamas…he refused and that is another long story) told us to write our own pieces of poetry, about whatever we wanted, and present them to the class.  The day before presentations he said to us, “I want you to be as fresh as lettuce!”.  And we all gave him that ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look.  What??  Lettuce??

Yes, and now that is an expression I’ve heard many times: ‘fresca como una lechuga’ a.k.a ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’.  So, here’s to hoping you have a fresh week!

Take notes like a BOSS!

I thought I would have some fun with this post!  Lately, I’ve been teaching some note-taking and organization sessions and loving it! (I guess my inner nerd is making a statement!).   During these sessions we take a look at things like:

1. How to use a planner
2. How to make an effective study-schedule
3. How to prepare for upcoming projects and tests
4. How to take some (awesome) notes

Now, I know that the note-taking ‘thing’ may sound old-school and entirely outdated, but I bet you could to the same thing on your computer.  Unfortunately, even though I do use the computer, I feel like I don’t really remember anything unless I write it down.  That’s why I still have a planner (archaic I know!), but I think that having a written record of something is better than having a million-and-one alerts in my phone. (Maybe that’s just me, I know we all have to do what works!)

So, I’m going to share with you the note-taking method I learned in high school.  Now, these notes have a name, but I don’t remember it!

Method:

Fold the side with the holes over about 1/4 of the way

On the same side as the holes, write your main headings, indent for sub-headings

On the other side write your key terms and definitions

How to study:

Fold the side with the holes back, that way you show all your headings and can quiz yourself on the terms and definitions!

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